Help us to keep NOEW free and accessible for our community!Donate
James Geier is the founder and president of the Chicago-based commercial, retail and hospitality design firm 555 International and founder of Ol’Style Inc., a full-service business consultancy practice working within the real estate, retail and hospitality industries. With over 35 years of real-life experience of what it takes to get the job done, Geier specializes in the development of big picture thinking, working with ownership directly to develop the best experience for their brand or company. Throughout the years, Geier’s roll-up-your-sleeves attitude and “cool heads prevail” philosophy have earned him collaborations with some of the biggest brands of our time, creating retail and concept stores for Gucci, Fred Segal, DKNY, A/X Armani Exchange, and most recently Lululemon, Hermes and Tiffany & Co. Today, he continues to navigate the ever-changing retail and hospitality landscape through designing and/or building cutting-edge experiences for A-list sports teams such as the Los Angeles Football Club, Chicago Cubs, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, as well as the Madhouse Team Store for the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks; big name hotel groups such as Loews, AC Tampa and Hard Rock Hotels International; and countless acclaimed restaurants, including Taureaux Tavern, Walton Street Kitchen & Bar, Goose Island Brew House (Chicago & Philadelphia), Coda di Volpe and Michelin-starred Roister.
Whatever the environment or service applied, Geier’s methods for developing thought-provoking guest experiences that work extend through all that he touches. Most recently, he’s been collaborating with the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, working with their team to develop an innovative program dedicated to preparing graduate students for the future of hospitality in business. Geier was also featured as part of New City’s Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago 2019, celebrating those who are leading Chicago’s design ecosystem into steady, collaborative growth today.
Geier, a lifelong arts benefactor and sculptor, is a member of the board of advisors at Northwestern University's Block Museum and continues his support and connection to the creative community through the creation of his latest venture, Morgan's on Fulton, a 20,000 square foot gallery and event space located in Chicago’s historic Fulton Market District. The culmination of his work with the arts has led to the Wapiti Arts Center, currently in development, in western Wyoming, a summer camp experience designed for creative inner-city and rural high school sophomores and juniors from around the country, where college isn't always an option. WAC's two-week immersive arts program is designed to foster ideas about careers in and around the world of art and expose students to ideas about additional creative career ventures and opportunities in the art world.
Geier harps on a business philosophy that celebrates a job well done from concept to execution. His comprehensive industry expertise and diverse background in business, design, engineering and branding allows him to bring unique and thoughtful narratives to his clients, transforming their ideas into real-life experiences.